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Whitehall departments miss waste reduction target

The Government has missed its target for a 25% reduction in its own waste generation.

Its annual Greening Government Commitments report shows a 3% shortfall in total waste reduction, with no overall improvement on the previous year, although estimated overall savings are put at £12.5m.

However, 16 out of 22 Government departments met or exceeded the 2015 reduction target, up from 13 the previous year.

The Ministry of Defence produced the most waste, accounting for 62.5% across all departments, and recorded only a 12% reduction.

The worst performing departments were the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the National Crime Agency, both of which recorded an 18% increase in waste generation.

In the report, the Government describes the 22% overall waste reduction as “a noteworthy achievement”, although it was expected to be 25% by 2015, compared with the 2009-10 baseline.

It said: “The majority of departments have been undertaking significant reorganisation and rationalisation programmes, potentially generating large volumes of waste from reducing the size of their operations.”

A case study of the Environment Agency’s (EA) 50% reduction of its office waste said this was achieved through “staff awareness programmes, increasing source segregation, changing waste supplier contracts and ensuring life cycle is considered during procurement processes, such as for a new flooring contract”.

Measures taken to reduce paper, a large portion of the EA’s waste, included print-less campaigns, increased digital storage, secure print to prevent unwanted printing and the introduction of scanning to all printer devices.

Each year, 83.6 tonnes of EA food waste was sent to anaerobic digestion.

Green house gas emissions and domestic flights reduction targets were also missed.

Waste reduction

Waste reduction

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